Year In Review : 1938 National League

Off the field...

On October 30 th , actor Orson Wells broadcasted his own adaptation of the H.G. Wells classic "War of the Worlds". His original "news-style" format proved more than a little convincing and created a nationwide panic as many listeners actually believed that alien invaders had landed in New Jersey. After the controversial program established him as a creative genius, Wells was signed by RKO pictures where he co-wrote, produced, directed, and starred in his first film, "Citizen Kane" (1941) which is still considered by many to be the greatest movie ever made.

The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 was passed to establish minimum living standards for workers engaged directly or indirectly in interstate commerce. A major provision of the act was the establishment of a Minimum Wage, initially $0.25 an hour, along with a maximum workweek of forty-four hours. These went on to become $0.40 an hour and forty hours after seven years.

In the American League...

New York Yankee icon Lou Gehrig hit his twenty-third (and final) grand slam during an 11-3 victory over the Philadelphia Athletics on August 20 th for a Major League record that still stands today.

Indian catchers Frank Pytlak and Hank Helf broke the "all-time altitude mark" by catching baseballs dropped from the 706-foot Cleveland Terminal Tower on August 20 th . Over the next few years, several players were seriously injured attempting to break this unusual record.

Cleveland ace Bob Feller set a Major League strikeout record after fanning eighteen Detroit Tigers on October 2 nd (including six straight), yet still lost 4-1 on rival Harry Eisenstat's four-hitter.

In the National League...

The St. Louis Cardinals signed Texas Christian University All-American football star and Washington Redskins quarterback Sammy Baugh as an infielder. Although he started off with the team in spring training, he was eventually assigned to the "Redbirds" farm system in both Columbus and Rochester.

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Hal Kelleher set two unwanted Major League records on May 5 th after surrendering twelve runs off of sixteen Chicago Cub batters in the eighth inning of a 21-2 massacre. Joe Marty led the attack with four hits for four runs and four runs batted in.

In December, the National League granted the Cincinnati Reds their season opener one-day before the rest of the league in recognition of the 100 th anniversary of baseball and the 1869 Red Stockings who were baseball's first professional team.

Around the League...

A special committee from the Baseball Hall of Fame inducted Alexander Cartwright for originating baseball's original concepts and sports writer Henry Chadwick for the invention of the box score.

On June 18 th , Babe Ruth signed on as a Brooklyn Dodgers coach for the remainder of the season. Desperately seeking a management position, "The Sultan of Swat" agreed to participate in many exploitive "non-coaching related" publicity stunts including appearing before games in uniform for batting demonstrations.

The founder of the Elias Sports Bureau and official statistician of the National League, Al Munro Elias, died in New York City on August 1 st at the age of sixty-seven.

The New York Yankees became the first team to win three successive World Championships after defeating the Chicago Cubs by a score of 8-3. On a somber note, the ailing Lou Gehrig, went four for fourteen (all singles) for his last Series appearance.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"Gabby Hartnett was not only a standout catcher, but a dangerous hitter. As a Cubs backstop, he caught 100 or more games 12 times, led the National League in putouts four times, and in assists and fielding average six times." - National Baseball Hall of Fame

1938 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls
Brooklyn
119
Batting Average
Cincinnati
.342
Doubles
St. Louis
47
Hits
Cincinnati
209
Home Runs
New York
36
On Base Percentage
New York
.442
RBI
St. Louis
122
Runs
New York
116
Slugging Average
St. Louis
.614
Stolen Bases
Chicago
16
Total Bases
St. Louis
326
Triples
St. Louis
16

1938 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games
Cincinnati
26
ERA
Chicago
2.66
Games
Pittsburgh
51
New York
Saves
New York
12
Shutouts
Chicago
9
Strikeouts
Chicago
135
Winning Percentage
Chicago
.710
Wins
Chicago
22

1938 National League

Team Standings

Chicago Cubs 89 63 .586 0
Pittsburgh Pirates 86 64 .573 2
New York Giants 83 67 .553 5
Cincinnati Reds 82 68 .547 6
Boston Bees 77 75 .507 12
St. Louis Cardinals 71 80 .470 17½
Brooklyn Dodgers 69 80 .463 18½
Philadelphia Phillies 45 105 .300 43

1938 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls
Brooklyn
611
Batting Average
Pittsburgh
.279
Doubles
St. Louis
288
Hits
St. Louis
1,542
Home Runs
New York
125
On Base Percentage
Pittsburgh
.340
Runs
St. Louis
725
Slugging Average
St. Louis
.407
Stolen Bases
Brooklyn
66
Triples
Brooklyn
79

1938 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games
Boston
83
ERA
Chicago
3.38
Fewest Hits Allowed
Cincinnati
1,329
Fewest Home Runs Allowed
Boston
66
Fewest Walks Allowed
New York
389
Saves
Chicago
18
New York
Shutouts
Chicago
16
Strikeouts
Chicago
583
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

In our team review of hitting statistics take note that first place finishing Chicago did not lead in ANY of the stats we display on our leaderboard! We challenge you to find the last time this occurred in National League history.

On April 19, 1938, Ernie Koy of the Dodgers became only the eighth National League player to hit a home run during his first Major League at-bat .

An even MORE amazing event took place on April 19, 1938, when during the same game where Koy went deep in his first at-bat, Heinie Mueller also went deep in his first Major League at-bat in the bottom of the same inning.

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